Nursing care costs

Some people affected by dementia may be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care contribution. Find out what nursing care costs are covered.

Nursing care costs

In some cases, you may be entitled to receive NHS continuing healthcare funding. This funding from the NHS will cover the full cost of your care, if you are deemed to have a healthcare need, whether in your own home, or in a care home. It is difficult for people with dementia to meet the criteria for eligibility because they are often assessed as having social care needs rather than healthcare needs.

This is a complex area, often particularly so for people with dementia, where distinguishing between these two types of care can be very difficult. 

When does the NHS pay for care?

Find our what NHS continuing healthcare is, how to get an assessment and how to appeal if you think you have been wrongly charged for care. 

Read more

If you do not qualify for NHS continuing healthcare, you might still be able to receive NHS-funded nursing care contribution because you do have some level of nursing care need. This is only paid if you are assessed as needing nursing care in a care home registered to provide nursing care.

The nursing care contribution is a flat weekly amount paid directly to the care home. For the current rate, look at Care and mobility benefits: rates and thresholds.

It is also possible to have a higher level of nursing care paid for by the NHS, if you have a joint package of care (joint between the local authority and the NHS). Under these circumstances, some care is assessed as healthcare, therefore NHS-funded, and some is social care and therefore means-tested.

In both of these cases, any social care element may be funded by the local authority and/or yourself, depending on your financial assessment. If you are paying for your own care in a nursing home, you can still be eligible for NHS-funded nursing care contribution. This does not affect your benefits, and should reduce the cost of the care home placement.

The care home should give you a written statement with a clear breakdown of how much of the costs are covered by the NHS, the local authority and yourself. You can ask them for a statement if you have not received one.

Care fees and the Mental Health Act 1983

If you have been in hospital for treatment under section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983, the local authority and NHS are responsible for providing and funding any related aftercare (section 117 aftercare).

This can include any care you need in your own home or in a care home. The purpose of this is to try to prevent readmission to hospital. 

The Mental Health Act and Guardianship

Read how the Mental Health Act 1983 is a law that is designed to protect the rights of people who are assessed as having a 'mental disorder', including dementia.

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Further reading